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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,535 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,535
Reviews: 829
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 187
Gots: 225 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,535 | Reviews: 829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MmmIPA
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

uncorked at 12:02 am and poured into my St. Berbardus goblet.

ruby red body with a reddish head that looked nice and stayed for a few seconds.Nice lacing on the glass and the lacing sparkled.that was nice to look at.

cherrys and booze come to mind when i smell this stuff.I smell the candi sugar in this fine brew.

sweet candi and plum and dark fruit taste.

Im supprised how smooth this stuff goes down.It really has a great taste to it.easy on the carbonation.

Im gonna buy another bottle and age me one of these for a year or so.This is one mighty fine brew, I love it alot.This is a great style for everyone to try and to explore.Im glad I bought this stuff.

My first beer of 2007

MmmIPA, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of Gmann
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 750ml cage & corked bottle. Pours a cola like brown color with an average tan head that dissipated into a ring around the glass. The smell is of figs and the newton, brown sugar, prunes, roasted/bready malt, spicy. The taste is of alcohol soaked rum raisin bread, cane sugar, and red grape juice. The feel is moderate to well bodied with tight and fizzy carbonation that finishes slick and syrupy; sticky and sweet. A very flavorful brew but is almost cloyingly sweet and sticky and the ABV can put a small horse down.

Gmann, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage 750ml. cork/caged brown bottle.

Poured into a 13.5oz snifter, a dark cherry-mahogany with just a bit of haze and a small finger of off-white head that settles leaving some nice thick lace behind. Good looking brew.

Healthy sweet malty nose that excels as it warms. Rich sweet cherries, bananas, candi-sugar, spices and yeasty notes coming through. Waivering alcohol in the back-drop comes forth as it warms.

The taste is of the smell but refined, yet amplified. Very tasty sweet malt character of booze-soaked cherries, raisens, bananas and a spicy yeast, wrapped in a candi-sugar envelope. A nice warming as it washes down. There is a balance from the hops that takes the sweetness to a dry, warm finish. Damn tasty Belgian here!

Big body, big alcohol that leads to big smooth and full mouthfeel...rich and rewarding, thus highly recommended. You really don't want to pass this one by...truly, Belgian!

scottoale, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of fido
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a cloudy red color, big white head and nice lacing; Smell is sweet, alcohol, spices, maybe some wood and fruity; Taste is very sweet at first, alcohol, spices and fruity; Mouthfeel is a little bit dry.

A very nice brew; really tasty.

Excellent Belgian beer.

¡Salud!

fido, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I split a 750 mL bottle with a friend at Bierhuis Kulminator in Antwerp.

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown with a reddish tint. A thick off-white head fades to a sudsy quarter-inch layer, leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Sweet and very fruity smelling. Lots of bananas and peppery alcohol. Swirling brings out notes of cherry and raisins.

Taste: Very sweet with nice fruitiness: bananas, raisins and light tartness. There's a very mild alcoholic spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Smooth and sweet. Neither the alcohol nor sweetness is overpowering.

EPICAC, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of paterlodie
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2002. Not much head and a brown beer with wite fog under it. Nose is lots of port , musty, burnt arome, alcoholic andvery heavy oxidised overall. Taste is also strong and porty, quiet sweet, wood, roastyness decent but there and backed by medium bitterness that's quiet far gone and warming alcohol. Certainly well brewed but kind of shocked that this one ages obviously quiet hard and don't think it will gain much more but certainly some will disagree. Still good adchievement and something ellse as the fresh version. Must like port though to really like this.

paterlodie, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of jabocu
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown caramel color with a one finger cap that settled to thin fish-eye lacings. Aroma of dark caramel, raisins, toffee, rum-soaked currants, vanilla, oak, sour cherry, slight banana, candy and earthy wheat. Some alcohol on the nose. Flavor is powerfully full of fruity esters of raisins, sour cherry, and pomegranates. Deeply malty with caramel and honey. Vanilla and Oak hang in the background and there's a slight sourness to break up the sweetness. Bitterness is mild with slight spicy/peppery notes. Alcohol is noticible and warm. Body is medium-full, and carbonation is medium. Very excellent beer!

jabocu, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of TAMU99
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Grand Cru of the Emperor is brewed yearly in remembrance of Charles the Fifth.
It pours a deep, rich mahogany brown. Clear with a thick persistent foam. The scent is sweet with tones of caramel and candy. The taste is even more forceful. Again with caramel and candy. Aftertastes of toffee and praline. It is very smooth, as you'd expect a beer this sweet to be. It feels like a double or triple and at times is cloyingly sweet which at times detracts from it's drinkability. Overall, this is a masterful brew and definitely should be on the list of ones to try if you can get your hands on some.

TAMU99, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves less than a one finger head that recedes to long lasting surface skim, some decent lacing. Body is a hazy dark garnet. Looks quite beautiful.

Smell - horse blanket sourness, sour plums, sour cherries, raisins, malt bread, and medicinal alcohol. Mouthwatering sourness.

Taste - like the smell. Horse blanket, sour cherries, plums, raisins, malt bread, all washed down with spicy, and medicinal, but not harsh, alcohol. Very good.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, fluid, and semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale, very complex and rewarding. High abv obviously limits sessionability. Enjoy with food.

ultralarry2006, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second time on this one. Pours a hazy brown/ruby, big off white head, nice lacing, great retention. Smell is sweet, tons of toffee, alcohol, spices, yeasty, some banana, real strong. Taste is very sweet at first, big toffee and apples, alcohol, spices and banana. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, lots of heat, but a nice strong Belgian.

Viggo, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of mmcave
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Sam's the bottles says 2005. Poured into a chalice a hazy dark brown with warm red high lights. The head rises to a nice thickness and then slowly dissipates to a point and lingers, leaving lacing all around. It smells predominantly of sweet malts, candied apples, or even the smell of a half eaten apple set out a while (which honestly is nice because the sugars come more forward) brown sugar, figs, caramel, bread and minor toasted notes. For me some of the fruit esters really come into their own and then fall back on old, but excellent standards. The taste is sweet with mildly bitter caramel notes, then some brown sugar onto a slightly carbonated taste of banana, apple bread. The drink finishes with a mellow cooked green apple flavor coupled with well-balanced raison and supportively helpful hops. The mouthful is nice on this one. Honestly the 11%abv was not present in the smell, but has come to full strength after the beverages was imbibed. This is a wickedly strong, yet tasty brew, totally Belgium and kick ass in a very pleasing way. Its like every sip evokes a history and intoxicates me all the more. There is no question that I will buy this again, its more do I buy one to show a friend or two so I always have one around for special occasions.

mmcave, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of dblinkhorn
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a goblet.

Appearance - Pours a very murk dark orange/brown. The head is about one finger and somewhat soapy and tan at first. It quickly settles at a thin but very creamy light-tan head that leaves good lacing on the way down.

Smell - Rich dark ripe fruits, mainly fig and cherry. Some slight smokey character, and some peppery spiciness with just a hint of clove. A huge bread pudding-like malt character that acts as a foundation for the rest of the aroma. Some background sweetness of rich caramel and molasses. Slight warmnth on the nose from the alcohol.

Taste - Lots of ripe cherry and fig right away, with some moderate alcohol warmnth. Some earthy notes right away, though they are mild. Floral and herbal hops mixed with some caramel and candied fruit sweetness. Again a huge bready malt with more earthiness mixed in. The finish mellows from the fruits and transforms into a mild sweetness with a full and rich malt character which tasts slightly toasted (but only toward the finish). Alcohol warmnth all the way through, but mainly at the beginning of a taste.

Mouthfeel - Luxuriously smooth mouthfeel with a medium body. Would have been a perfect mouthfeel (it really is heavenly), but the beer turns completely to foam toward the finish. Extremely smooth, though, and no unpleasantness at all from the carbonation.

Drinkability - Very strong flavors and at 11% ABV and noticeable, this beer takes a hit in this category.

A wonderfully full-flavored Belgian strong dark ale. The flavors are fantastic and complex, and it has a sublime mouthfeel. A must have!

dblinkhorn, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle - 2003 Vintage - Thanks to AKSmokedPorter

Pours a murky chestnut brown with a creamy tan head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is alive with sweet malt and dark fruits that meld with the Belgian yeasty and bready scent. A slight booziness is also present.

Oh man, this tastes fantastic. A wave of sweet malt and dark fruity flavors comes first, followed by a rather subdued yeasty breadiness. It finishes with more dark fruitiness and never really reveals the booze in the taste.

Full body, solid carbonation.

I think that a few years in the bottle really allowed this beer to some into it's own. I haven't yet reviewed a young sample, but the ones I have tried are not as smooth and complex. It's insanely drinkable for the ABV and just a stellar beer all around. If you have this one available to you, throw it in your cellar for a few years - it will certainly be worth the wait.

MaltyGoodness, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of BeerIsland
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a huge fan of the Belgians but this beer was enough to almost turn my head around. Had it on tap at Max's this week and I'm glad I did. It came out in a goblet without any head to speak of but had a deep, rich mahogany color that hinted of complex flavors yet to come. This is probably the best smelling beer I’ve ever had, lush and malty with toffee, plumy notes. It just wafted out of the glass. The taste was great, all kinds of malt, not sweet at all, jammy, pruney flavors and no real alcohol bite. It’s a sipper but why hurry? The mouth feel was extremely smooth and drinkability was right up there. Wow! I like these pleasant surprises. Truly a great beer and a once in a long while on tap availability.

BeerIsland, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a foil top glass bottle. 11.2 oz.

A- Rich, dark brown. Milky head that settles to a ring of tiny foam.

S- Smooth buttery, caramel, coffee, pecans.

T- Incredible. Sweet, like caramel with notes of coffee towards the end. Almost like a milk stout but much lighter and smooth. Sweet like pure cane sugar or maple syrup.

M- Sweet and luxurious. Leaves a slight residue as the simple sugars begin to break down on your tongue. Very little carbonation but so well balanced it doesn't need it.

D- Very sweet, but it would go great with something sweet and sour I think. This is luxury in a glass.

Rudgers73, Sep 26, 2006
Photo of Lupin
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pop the cork in a sink to be safe. Mine overflowed, but I had a glass ready and only lost about a half an ounce.

Wow.. I have to agree with anyone who said that the odor of bananas was profound. That's pretty much all I smell. This is going to be a sweet quaff.

Poured into a thin 12 oz pilsner. Head is pretty standard for the style. Minimal lacing. Thick, tiny bubbles. Head settles to about 1/4". Pours a little darker than the brown glass bottle.

First taste, my buds are inundated by the banana odor and I can think of nothing else. Phenols, yeast, sugar. Too sweet. Very thick. Malt and earthy fruits dominate this beer, as they should any belgian ale, but this is almost absurd. If you like that sort of thing, more power to you. The flavors are just a little too intense here, and they cling to the palate for a long time after you swallow a sip. Even swishing with water can't clean things off.

There is no need for me to have 750ml of this beer. Unless you are sharing this with someone else, there is no reason for you to do the same.

Lupin, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage

This beer poured a dark brown cherry amber with a thin film of pale tan.

Smells very strongly of Laughy-Taffy bananas with a nice touch of alcohol and a slight artificial vanilla.

The taste begins with a big alcohol and vanilla sting but then takes on a cherry, toffee and gooey dry barley.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light tingle of carbonation.

This one’s tasty, and really easy to drink. Over all, I thought the banana was a little much but for a beer this strong, it went down surprisingly well.

DarkerTheBetter, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of Tbone
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is for the 2005 vintage with English label and 10% ABV.
They release in April, so it had a bottle age of about 18 months.

A-As per my usual, poured the entire 750 ml bottle at once into a large glass pitcher. It was highly carbonated, filling alomst the whole pitcher with foam. It has a very dark amber color.

S-Very rich and pleasing aroma of plum and molasses.

T-More of the same in the taste. Expectedly sweet, but a complex palate of flavors of plum, molasses, and a nice roasted malt.
I detect no off flavors.

M-A silky and creamy texture with just the right density (although this was in part due to releasing much carbonation through a hard pour).

I will definitely be getting more of this and will seek out other vintages.

Tbone, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of bwyker
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap, poured into a pint glass, around cellaring temperature.

Appearance: Very dark mahogany. Nearly opaque from the dark hue of the body; however, when put up to light, it appears to be a clear, haze-free deep-red brew. A very thin ochre tinted head dangles in the middle and sticks to the sides of the glass. Lacing completely coats the side of the glass forming a slightly discolored screen.

Smell: Immediately notice toffee and molasses, with an alcohol backbone.

Taste: Similar to the nose. Smokey, roasted malts with hints of cherry at the start, followed by a slight maple syrup flavor and a splash of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Although this one is heavy in the malts, the mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, with only a slight stickyness in the finish. The first few sips are a bit dry from the alcohol, but this soon fades to a nice silkiness once your palate adjusts.

Drinkability: This is a big one that will demand some slow sipping. It gets easier with each sip, but I can’t imagine having more than one or two of these in a sitting. Overall, a well-crafted beer that was very much enjoyed.

bwyker, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of cbl2
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/5/2005 $7.99 750 mL 10.00% Brewed February 24th every year, this is the 2004 vintage.

Appearance:

Pours a beautiful deep dark brown with hints of orange and ruby within. Fine bubbles of carbonation stream in perfectly straight lines from bottom to top (a never before seen sight by me).

Aroma:

This one is intense! Ripe plum mixed with candied sugar and fino port (the predominant odor) make an intriguing blend.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Mouthfeel is sublimely smooth. First flavor to strike the palate is an intense sugary sweetness, followed immediately by a portlike robust flavor that is coupled with some nuttiness when aerated. Finish is exquisite, with the nuttiness giving way to a warming balanced alcohol sensation that glides down the throat, as your taste buds beg for another sip. A simply amazing beer!

cbl2, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of Osiris9588
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this out of a brown 11.2 oz bottle, ABV 8%. This ale has a great color, a dark copper accented with a cranberry glow. A rather weak, though lacey, head disspated quickly in a large tulip glass. The pleasing bouquet was filled with notes of chocolate, plum, and rich malt. The taste offered malt and various spices on the front palate, moving to a candy coated and stong alcohol finish. Mouthfeel was lively and full, yet the candy-alcohol finish was overpowering and almost deadened my tongue for future sips. However, I grew used to the finish and it compared nicely with other ales of its ilk.

Osiris9588, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A label marked "Jaargang 2006" was wrapped around the neck, and unlike in the photo uploaded, the blue stripe running diagonally across the front label read, in English, "Grand Cru of the Emperor." Imported in Lorton, VA.

I had never heard of this beer and purchased it based on a recommendation from the liquor store manager. He had never tried it either but had heard it was good, so I was REALLY going out on a limb, especially at $10.99 for the bottle.

I poured this brew into a Stone IRS tulip glass. It emerged an opaque and very dark reddish brown with a 2 finger bubbly tan head that settled to a thick halo.

The first scent that hit my nose was that of alcohol. After swirling the glass a bit and straining to identify the odors, the first image that was conjured was that of candied plums, followed by caramel and toffee. Not terribly intense, but mouth watering nonetheless.

First sip: wow, very nice. This one starts off with that candied fruit sweetness, then evolves to carmelly, and finally settles into a warming mixture of alcohol and subtle hints of coffee. Yes, the alcohol definitely makes its presence known, but what can you expect at 11% ABV? It works well with the other flavors, countering the fruity/candy sweetness and making for a richer and more full-bodied drinking experience.

After several additional sips, the flavor continues to impress and bloom.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the burning of alcohol, and while its intensity is not uncomfortable, it is just strong enough to slightly detract from my drinking enjoyment. Again, the alcohol doesn't disrupt the flavor, just the mouthfeel. Outside of that minor flaw, everything else is fantastic: the carbonation is just right, and the finish is amazingly clean given the richness of flavor going in; clean enough to average out the mouthfeel to "good."

This is just an awesomely flavorful and comforting beer. After only consuming about half of one bottle, I can already say that this one definitely beats out Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Special Brown and takes over as my new favorite Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It actually reminds me a bit more of quadrupels like St. Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10, and is almost as good.

That $10.99 for 750mL doesn't seem so bad anymore. I must get my hands on some more of these, some for immediate consumption with friends and some for storing. I bet after a year or two of cellaring, this beer would be bordering on perfect.

However, electing to select this beer for consumption while attempting to work from home was a bad idea. My head started getting fuzzy before I had even finished half the bottle.

instrumentality, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of hero27
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged bottle.
2005 Vintage.
10% abv.

Pours a reddish-brown color with plum accents. Thin off-white ring of foam leaves random patches of lacing behind.
A plethora of dark fruits, molasses, and sweet brown sugar in the aroma.
Tastes very sweet, like liquid candied fruit. Licorice, cherry, and oaky malt flavors melt on the tongue with each sip. Great Belgian yeast character carries all of the flavors tremendously.
Absolute velvet mouthfeel. Smooth and dangerously easy to drink even at 10+% alcohol.

Even at room temp, this is simply a privilege to drink..the flavors absolutely jump out at you. Fantastic brew.

hero27, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of Toddv29424
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*As this beer is only brewed once a year and can have drastically different flavors from year to year, I would suggest that there be separate entries for each year that it's created.*
Pours a moderately dark brown that’s very hazy. Head is generous and continues to grow long after pouring has stopped. Smell is mostly of alcohol, and faintly resembles candied fruits and caramel. The taste is big and intricate, but oddly simple at the same time. The two most dominant tastes are of the aforementioned alcohol and candied fruits, but the amount of carbonation makes it so neither one can take hold on your tongue and leaves you begging for more. It's also reminiscent of Belgian quadruples, but much more drinker-friendly and a little less intense. This beer also goes down easy, something I was not expecting.

Toddv29424, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a 750 mL bottle of Grand Cru of the Emperor (in English) 2005 served in a Chimay goblet. The ale is cool.

A: The ale is a darker beer, trending towards dark brown but with hints of lighter tones. The ale has a nice head that laces.

S: Wow, does this ale have a ramped up spice content! From first smell, deeper spices jump out at me. The one that immediately springs to mind is thyme (as I recognize it from N'ice Chouffe). The aromas are deep and tantalizing, giving a hint of the alcohol punch in this beer.

T: The ale tastes like it smells, full of depth and spices. The hop quotient here is fairly low, allowing the spices to shine, with the thyme taking the cake. The alcohol, while not overt, is clearly here.

M: The ale tastes wonderful and well worth the one-day-a-year brewing cycle.

D: Very drinkable, even at 10% or so. The spices keep the taste buds guessing and the beer itself is not overpoweringly strong.

akorsak, Aug 13, 2006
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
94 out of 100 based on 1,535 ratings.